John W. Brockhouse, Jr.
James J. Wadsworth

This guide provides rural residents with information about cooperative development feasibility studies. It defines the feasibility study and discusses their necessity and limitations. First steps in feasibility study development are described and key actions, including important components of a comprehensive study, are detailed. Also offered are criteria for selecting and working with consultants, information for developing assumptions, and study assessment factors.
Key words: feasibility study, cooperative development, consultant, assumption, decision.

Vital Steps: A Cooperative Feasibility Study Guide

John W. Brockhouse, Jr., and James J. Wadsworth completed the revision of this guide. The report was first authored by James Matson in 2000 while he was employed with Rural Development. The authors acknowledge revision contributions from Bruce Pleasant, with USDA Rural Development in North Carolina, and James Matson, now a private consultant based in South Carolina.
Publications and information are also available on the Internet. The Cooperative Programs Web site is at:
December 2010